Artists and Social Media: The Art Of Perfect Exposure

I attended a panel recently at a music industry seminar that discussed how artists should better utilize social media to connect to their audience.  There was discussion on what artists were doing it right and questions on why other artists aren’t doing it much at all.  There was the typical debate, but nearly everyone agreed that artists must be connecting to their audience in a more personal way through Twitter, Facebook and other outlets.  I tend to agree with the premise, but as the social media gurus were continuing on I started wondering at what point is it too much?  Can an artist reveal too much information in their Tweets?  And at what level does the artist draw the line to their private life and time?

I began thinking about exposure as it relates to photography, which I dabble in on the side.  When taking a photograph it is important not to have your subject constantly under or overexposed.  Underexposure will cause the image to become too dark while overexposure will create a loss of highlight detail by the image becoming too bright.  Unless this is intentionally done for a limited creative effect, it is not the balance an artist would desire in their overall work.

It is totally understandable that fans want to connect to their favorite artist and it makes sense that an artist should be making those connections with the opportunities and outlets given them.  I’m a big proponent of artists being on Twitter and personally managing (what’s the point if they aren’t the one actually tweeting?).  However, I would caution as to becoming overexposed and have the detail elements of mystery and privacy completely washed out by over sharing.  It certainly depends on the personality of the artist and how far they are willing to take this unfiltered relationship, but once you go over the top it is tricky to correct the overexposed image.  We must remember that whether fans will admit it or not, leaving them “wanting more” works.

As to everything there must be balance and a bit of tension to be successful.  The same thing is true with an artist utilizing social media effectively.

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2 Responses to Artists and Social Media: The Art Of Perfect Exposure

  1. Elise says:

    I think this is a very interesting point of discussion right now and tend to agree with you. I was just talking with someone I worked with about how to advise a public figure in the realm of social media and it is a hugely useful way for fans and artists to connect with one another and a way to build loyalty. However it does seem like there are a few common mistakes that are made.

    The first one, mentioned above, is oversharing, and to a lesser degree, undersharing. There is such a thing as TMI and part of the reason fans stay interested is because they don’t know everything and don’t have it all figured out. On the other hand, social network sites should not be used just to “sell” things. Tweets that are only promotional in nature should be few and far between because it’s not what fans want or expect from the platform.

    Something else that bothers me a great deal is when public figures that I like have poor grammar and a lot of spelling issues. Get a spellcheck! (Or an assistant to vet.)

    It certainly is easier than ever before for artists to connect directly with fans without needing a middleman.


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